Choosing a Correct Lubricant

Michael Krychman MD

Who would think that choosing a sexual lubricant is complicated? Stand by the lubricant shelf in your local grocery store and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the overwhelming amount of choices. Here is a quick and easy guide that debunks the lubricant myths. Choice selection made easy. You may want to try samples of different types to begin your sexual exploration playfulness.

Oils and Oil-based Lubricant

Most health care professionals advocate avoidance of this type of lubricant, as it alters and upsets the vagina’s natural acid base (pH) balance. This type of lubricant may be associated with increased risk of vaginal infections and bacterial overgrowth. The strength, efficacy and integrity of latex condoms are also compromised with oil­based lubricants.

Water-Based Lubricant

Water based lubricants often contain deionized water, and also may have glycerin or propylene glycol as part of their listed ingredients. Water based products typically do not stain fabric, sheets or clothing and are generally safe to use with silicone/latex accessories. Water products rarely cause irritation, but some men and women do have sensitivities. They have a natural feel, are not considered greasy but must be reapplied as they can dry out with extended activity.

Silicone-Based Lubricants

Silicone based lubricants may last longer than water­based products, will not soak into the skin, are slippery and need little reapplication. Silicone lube is sleek and slippery. Perfect for prolonged intercourse or anal sex. Silicone lubricant is a must for aqua sex, sex in the shower, hot tub, or swimming pool. They are tasteless, odorless and have no stickiness or tackiness. They can also be used as massage lotions since they do not dry out. Soap and water is often needed for cleanup. Read product labels since some silicone toys will not be compatible with silicone lubricant.

Hybrid Lubricants

These lubricants are often a combination of both water and silicone characteristics. They last long and have the silky feel of some water­based lubricants.

Pantry Solutions

Extra­virgin, coconut, vegetable, avocado or peanut oil may not irritate the vagina and typically do not affect latex. Most health care professionals frown upon using food products within the vagina area since they have been linked to increased vaginal infections that may be persistent and difficult to treat.

For the concerned consumer, you can always get some advice from your health care professional or sexuality expert.